2016 Employee Recognition Awards - Land Use & Regulatory

GOLD - Ana Maria Rebelo, Department of Public Works

- Press Play to listen to audio.
As a Program Coordinator working for the Department of Public Works, Ana Maria has done outstanding work for the Davenport Sanitation District. As a small district, it is difficult to raise funds to cover capital costs, so the District often reaches out to the County for help looking for public funding. Ana has been instrumental in working with the District to qualify for and receive a Community Development Block Grant, which required countless hours of work and outreach in the community of Davenport. In addition to the Community Development Block Grant, Ana obtained numerous other grants to assist with the recycled water project in Davenport, as well as secure funding for other current and future water Sanitation District projects. Ana also works with the Davenport community to help them reach their sustainability goals. For example, she worked closely with Pacific School to help them achieve their Green Business Certification. In addition to working with the Davenport Sanitation District, Ana also coordinates work for the Freedom Sanitation District and the Santa Cruz County Sanitation District. Ana is kind and responsive to the community, and consistently exhibits high standards of customer service to the public. She is constantly thinking about how to solve the next problem, and how to pay for it. Ana is a tremendous asset to the County of Santa Cruz, and deserves to be recognized for her commitment and exceptional dedication.

SILVER - Bryan Kriete, Agricultural Commissioner

- Press Play to listen to audio.
As an Agricultural Biologist Aide, Bryan has done far more than what is expected for his position. During his time working with the Agricultural Commissioner, Bryan has taken the lead on optimization of the department’s previously overloaded database, migrating operational data into a system that is much better equipped to handle the robust information. Most recently, however, Bryan has focused on working with the GIS mapping system. Through steadfast research and teamwork with Information Services, Bryan was instrumental in building a streamlined online environment that resulted in improved tracking of treated mosquito breeding locations. This greatly increased efficiency within the department related to pesticide use and inspections. The system Bryan built has accomplished major cost savings, as it is similar to other proprietary systems costing tens of thousands of dollars. His poster describing the process for using this new system won an award with a Central Coast GIS User Group, and an article he co-authored with Information Services was published in an industry newsletter. Bryan is a talented and dedicated employee who deserves accolades for his exceptional work, and it is fitting to recognize what he has done by presenting him with this award today.

BRONZE - Shared by the Electronic Plan Check Team
Back Row, Left to Right:
Dennis Thomas, ISD
Nathan MacBeth, Planning
Maitreya Maziarz, ISD
Michael Sotero, Planning
Carolyn Burke, Planning

Front Row, Left to Right:
Lynne Bryan, Planning
Silbiano Cruz-Hernandez, ISD
Aimen Al-Refai, ISD
Amy Willbanks, Planning

Not Pictured:
Nancy McCollum, Planning

- Press Play to listen to audio.
In 2015, the Board of Supervisors directed the Planning Department to create a seamless online application review process to modernize plan review. The Electronic Plan Check, or EPlan, Team made up of staff from the Planning and Information Services was formed to define and resolve issues, plan for EPlan implementation, and conduct workshops with other departments to gather information and develop processes. Over a nine-month period, the EPlan team met several times to further refine and test processes to allow the seamless introduction of EPlan. This new process allows customers to submit plans and building permit applications from their office, home or other remote location, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year, as opposed to coming down to the public counter and waiting in line. Many improvements have been realized through the implementation of EPlan, including reduced processing time, a need to less storage space, and improved retrieval of plan documents. The Planning Department and the Information Services Department blended beautifully to develop a new workflow that increases efficiency, saves money, and provides ease of use for the public. This was not a small task, and this team met their challenge and should be commended for their commitment and dedication to this project.